In 2003 and 2004, the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) made major gains in data collection, analysis and
dissemination. The UIS is responsible for providing timely, accurate and policy-relevant statistics on education, science and technology, and culture and communication. Among its activities in 2003 and 2004, the Institute carried out the pilot phase of a survey of primary schools and collaborated on the development of new indicators for non-formal education and early childhood education and development. In recognition of the UN Decade for Literacy (2003-2012), the UIS also embarked on a new program to develop comparative measures of literacy attainment.
An EU-funded program for building capacity to monitor achievement of education goals was piloted in Niger, which subsequently completely overhauled its methodologies and systems for collecting, processing and disseminating data on primary education. In Latin America, UIS support for the Regional Education Indicators Project has strengthened national education data systems and facilitated progress in addressing key regional issues such as equity. Overall, capacity development through the World Education Indicators (WEI) Project is building up middle management and professional capacity in many countries moving towards attaining Education for All by 2015.
UIS contributed to major international reports during 2003 and 2004, including the UNDP Human Development Report, the World Bank’s World Development Indicators Report, the UN Secretary-General’s Report on progress towards the Millennium Development Goals, and the EFA Global Monitoring Report. Among the publications produced by UIS itself were the Global Education Digest in 2003 and 2004, two thematic reports on financing education and literacy skills, and two regional reports on education, one for South and East Asia and the other for the Arab States. Current studies on out-of-school children, educational equity and teachers are in preparation and will be published in late 2004 and 2005.